A Pennsylvania newspaper calls for changes to the state’s electronics EPR law, and the Consumer Technology Association offers updated data on the shifting device stream.
Adhesive remover: Electronics repair advocate iFixit has found a chemical solvent that melts adhesives commonly used in electronic devices. Motherboard, a publication of Vice, writes that the development could be a significant step for electronics repairability, as adhesives often make otherwise simple steps, such as battery removal, virtually impossible without breaking the device.
Solar stewardship: Washington state has enacted the nation’s first extended producer responsibility law for solar panels. According to the Northwest Product Stewardship Council, Gov. Jay Inslee signed the legislation into effect this month, meaning solar manufacturers will be responsible for financing a recycling program for their products. Those that fail to do so will no longer be able to sell in the state beginning in 2021.
Evolving makeup: Devices continue to weigh less and contain fewer toxic materials, and CRT TVs are a declining portion of the waste stream. Walter Alcorn of the Consumer Technology Association highlights some of the recent findings and developments within the consumer electronics recycling industry and calls for collaboration among the public and private sectors to reduce the environmental impact of electronics.
Curbside convenience: A Chicago-area city has begun a contract to provide curbside electronics recycling service for residents. The Chicago Tribune reports Oak Forest, Ill. residents will be able to place their electronics out with other materials for weekly collection, provided they contact the hauler in advance.
Call for change: Although Pennsylvania bans electronics from being disposed of in a landfill, only a quarter of the state’s residents have access to free electronics recycling service. That and other findings led The Daily Item newspaper’s editorial board to call on lawmakers to make changes to the state extended producer responsibility law.
Phone recovery: Samsung plans to recover more than 170 short tons of rare metals from its infamous Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, the company announced this week. Reuters reports the company will recover cobalt, copper, gold and silver from some components, and it plans to reuse functional components on other phones sent in for repair.
Opposing postponement: The Basel Action Network (BAN) has released a statement criticizing a request by Hong Kong e-scrap companies to delay government licensing and compliance dates. In the statement, BAN Executive Director Jim Puckett said there have been well-documented violations of environmental and workplace laws by Hong Kong recycling companies, and he argued there is no justification for a delay in implementing new regulations.
Internship opportunity: Fair Trade Recycling is five weeks into a program that sent four U.S. college students into the electronics recycling industry. In a blog post, Fair Trade’s Robin Ingenthron writes about the students’ progress, which includes work in Vermont and Ghana to learn about parts supply and how electronics recycling works on the ground.